Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Monday, February 18, 2019 09:20:11 PM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

The rising cost of nutritious food in South Asia

By
07th-Feb-2019       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Felipe F. Dizon:
A malnourished child will face poorer outcomes as an adult. That's why improving nutrition, especially in the early stages of life, is critical. The path toward better nutrition includes adequate maternal and child care, access to better sanitation facilities, health services, and naturally, nutritious foods.
But whether an individual consumes - or not - nutritious food is contingent upon a myriad of factors, ranging from the availability of certain foods, how convenient they can be turned into meals, or simply, if they meet consumers' tastes.
But above all, the high cost of food remains the most critical barrier to proper nutrition and affects the poor more than the rich. And in South Asia, where malnutrition persists in multiple forms, the cost of nutritious food is prohibitive.
In South Asia, the cost of nutritious food is prohibitive. As a result, many South Asians have poor diets: 49 percent of Sri Lankans and 58 percent of Pakistanis spend less on food than the cost of the recommended national dietary guidelines.
In a recent working paper from the South Asia Food and Nutrition Security Initiative (SAFANSI), my colleagues and I set out to survey the cost of nutritious food across the region.
Instead of merely analyzing what food costs, we specifically quantified what a good diet would cost- one that is not only nutritious but also balanced and promotes overall health.
To do so, we calculated the cost of an ideal diet based on national dietary guidelines (or food pyramid).
In 2017, the cost of meeting these guidelines was 187 rupees in Sri Lanka per adult per day, 87 rupees in Pakistan, and 45 afghanis in Afghanistan. This is roughly $1.2 to $2 per day.
In all these countries, we concluded that it is more expensive to meet national dietary guidelines than to eat the recommended amount of calories. Since nutritious foods are expensive, many South Asians have poor diets: 49 percent of Sri Lankans and 58 percent of Pakistanis spend less on food than the cost of the recommended national dietary guidelines.
While a good diet is more expensive than a calorie-sufficient diet, its cost also varies within a country.
In Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, nutrient-rich perishable foods such as dairy and vegetables drive subnational cost disparities. Since perishable foods are more difficult to transport, their cost is subject to local production and availability.
Yet what is worrying is that the cost of nutritious food has become increasingly prohibitive across South Asia.
The difference in the cost of a typical food basket and nutritious food basket over time in India
The difference in the cost of a typical food basket and nutritious food basket over time in India
Let us compare two food price indexes.
The first, the consumer food price index or food CPI, measures the change in the price of a typical food basket over time.
The second, called the nutritious food price index or NPI, measures the change in a nutritious food basket over time. In both India and Pakistan, we found that the cost of a nutritious food basket increases faster than the cost of a typical food basket.
This trend is more pronounced in the lean season as food prices generally go up and the cost of a nutritious basket increases even more than a typical food basket. Making nutritious food more affordable will involve a concerted effort from consumers, governments, and businesses.
And central to that effort is to recognize the value of food first in terms of nutrients rather than calories.
True, food prices, like any other commodities, are determined by supply and demand.
On the demand side, consumers appear to eschew more expensive, nutritious foods for cheaper, less nutritious options.
While the poor might opt for cheaper foods because that is all they can afford, more well-off households follow a similar pattern.
While counterintuitive, this behavior stems from the fact that the benefits of a healthy diet occur much later in life, leading consumers who might otherwise afford them to underinvest in nutritious foods.    
On the supply side, governments and firms have often favored cereals and other calorie-rich crops at the expense of nutritious, perishable foods.
Public subsidies in India and Pakistan have historically supported cereals.
At the same time, governments have made limited investments in storage and transport facilities that are needed to develop markets for perishable foods such as milk and vegetables.
Yet the public sector is not alone in the role they have to play to move from calories to nutrients.  Ultimately, as consumers purchase the bulk of their food from private markets, the private sector can and should play a crucial role in making nutritious foods available to all.

(From World Bank Blog).

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Editorial »

Take hard-line against tax eviction by working foreigners


THE international organisations and development partners working in Bangladesh did not surrender or renew the Customs Passbooks of their 395 non-Bangladeshi staff till the date. The National Board of Revenue had directed them to complete the task within the January 31 deadline, newspapers reported. According to NBR, employees of 21 ...

City »

40 DU students get Sumitomo Corporation Scholarship


City Desk  :A total of 40 under-graduate students from different academic years of Dhaka University (DU) have been awarded Sumitomo Corporation Scholarship of Japan today February 17, 2019 at Nabab Nawab Ali Chowdhury Senate Bhaban of the university.Dhaka University Vice-Chancellor Prof. Dr. Md. Akhtaruzzaman presided over the function while Treasurer ...

Cricket »

Sri Lanka sensation Perera hailed for Test-winning heroics


AFP, Colombo :Kusal Perera became a national hero in Sri Lanka on Sunday after scoring an unbeaten 153 to guide his country to a sensational first Test victory in South Africa.The country's cricket legends and politicians lauded Perera, who has become a linchpin for the ailing national side since fighting ...

International »

Japan PM nominated Trump for Nobel after US request


AFP, Tokyo :Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe nominated US President Donald Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize last autumn after being requested to do so by Washington, a Japanese newspaper reported Sunday.Washington sounded out Tokyo over the possibility of nominating Trump for the prize after his landmark summit with North ...

Entertainment »

Shraddha Kapoor obliges fans amidst a busy schedule


Actress Shraddha Kapoor obliges for some selfies with her fans amidst a busy schedule. The actress was pictured today in London where she is working on her upcoming project Street Dancer 3D. The official Instagram handle of Manav Manglani had recently posted pictures of her taking selfies for her fans ...

Editorial »

Ensure safety for patients in the hospitals by any means


CITY'S Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College Hospital has started operations after a messy situation caused by fire on Thursday evening. Director of the SSMCH said a total of 1,174 patients, including 72 children, were shifted to other government hospitals after the fire originated at the children's ward on the second floor ...

Sports »

Stunned Japan swimmers back stricken Olympic pin-up Ikee


AFP, Tokyo :Japanese swimmers have vowed to step up their efforts in support of Rikako Ikee, the poster girl for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics who has announced she is suffering from leukaemia.Earlier this week, the 18-year-old swim queen tweeted that she had cut short a training camp in Australia after ...

Football »

Capoue sends Watford into FA Cup quarter-finals at QPR's expense


Etienne Capoue's goal in first-half stoppage time was enough to give Watford a 1-0 win away to Queens Park Rangers (QPR) on Friday that saw the Hornets into the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.Both sides had opportunities in an even opening period that belied the fact that Watford are eighth ...

International »

Turkey has not revealed all about Khashoggi killing : Erdogan


AFP, Ankara :Turkey has not yet revealed all the information it has discovered about the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday."We haven't given all the elements we have at our disposal," the Turkish head of state said during an ...

Entertainment »

Fagun Haway' draws huge acclamation


Entertainment Desk :The premier show of 'Fagun Haway', a movie based on the 1952 Language Movement, draw a large number of film loving people at cinema halls.Actor turned director Tauquir Ahmed directed the movie which was released simultaneously at 52 cinema halls across the country.The story of the movie was ...

City »

The Namaz-e-Janaza of Poet Al Mahmud was held at the Jatiya Press Club on Saturday.


Editorial »

Save the Sunderbans to save the Royal Bengal Tigers


FOR the constant rise in sea levels and rapid climate change, the famous Royal Bengal Tigers of the Sunderbans could be disappeared within 50 years, especially from the Bangladesh part, according to a new study published recently in the journal Science of The Total Environment. A team of Bangladeshi and ...

City »

Members of RAB-2 nabbed one on Friday from Narayanganj for taking money from government officials from different areas in the country impersonating Anti-Corruption Commission official.


.

Cricket »

Feels like it`s a blessing to just be playing again: Steyn


Agency :Dale Steyn, the South African mainstay, continued to impress on his comeback trail, as he bowled at high pace and picked up four wickets over a long spell on Day 2 of the first Test of the two-match series versus Sri Lanka in Durban.The veteran fast bowler bowled at ...

Entertainment »

Shanta Jahan feels comfortable in hosting


Sheikh Arif Bulbon :Popular host of present time Shanta Jahan has to be engaged with hosting round the year in and outside the country in different stage shows and TV programmes. Besides hosting, she has more identities. She is also a model and TV actress. But she always feels comfortable ...

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news